Japan Experience

Japan Experience

Thierry discovered Japan in 1994 during a professional internship in Tokyo where he met his future Japanese wife.

After graduating from Paris Dauphine University in 1995, he returned to Japan in 1996 for 2 years to work in marketing and operations for a French cooking school. After returning to France he co-founded an online wine sales company which he floated on the stock market at the end of 2006.

In early 2010 he returned to his travel roots and joined the company and embarked upon the development of the company in partnership with its founder. After sustained international growth, Thierry Maincent became President in 2019. He alternates living between in Paris and Tokyo with his family.

He is passionate about many different places in Japan, but the one that holds a special place in his heart is the peninsula of Noto, in Ishikawa prefecture; preserved fishermen villages situated at the foot of green mountains inhabited by traditional minka; typifying rural traditional Japan, with many craftsmanship traditions being kept alive.

Christian is a Travel Consultant in charge of Individual and Custom Tailor Tours for the German market. He studied Law in Berlin and Paris, graduating with a masters degree and worked several years in a Berlin law office. In 2016, he switched careers into the Tourism Sector to follow his passion for Japan and started with Japan Experience. Aside from working as a Travel Consultant, Christian helped relocate the Berlin Office, established the German section for Custom Tailor from the ground-up with a self-taught, hands-on approach and represented the company in several local and national Marketing Events (ITB, CMT, Main Matsuri etc).

On exploration trips to Japan, Christian likes to travel by rental car, train, ferry or go on a hike to see the most remote corners of the country. He loves the Kansai region, but his favourite place is the small Island of Shodoshima off the coast which produces one of the best soy sauces. Next to Japan's cuisine - especially kaiseki - he enjoys onsen, the art of Kimono-wearing, bunraku, visiting shrines and traditional crafts.

Saki is our Housing Manager and manages the operational aspect of our vacation rental homes of Japan Experience in Japan. Her recent passion is assisting in the preservation of traditional japanese homes and art through tourism. She has contributed in setting up services, activities and products in Japan for international travelers.

Saki was born in Osaka but grew up in an international environment, enrolling in an international school from the age of 3. After graduating from university with a degree in International Communication and Linguistics she moved to the traditional city of Kyoto. In Kyoto she started her career in tourism and found joy in sharing the culture, thoughts, and customs of Japan with the international community.

Her motto in life is represented by four kanji; “温故知新 Onkochishin “ roughly translated to mean ‘learning from the past and use this knowledge to create a new path for the future.’

Her favourite place in Japan is Kyoto because it is a city where history can be felt and traditional customs are still very much alive, and the city where her motto is aptly appropriate.

After graduating with a Global Studies degree with an East Asian emphasis, Chris moved to Japan in 2010, and has been there ever since. After teaching ESL, Chris started working for Japan Experience as a Travel Angel, developing the vacation rental and activity business in Kanazawa, Ishikawa.

Currently, Chris is our Accomodation Product Manager, overseeing the development of not only all the vacation rentals Japan Experience promotes across Japan, but also is responsible for curating our hotel and ryokan selection for our customers. Chris’ main goal is to create an enticing, unique and carefully verified selection of accommodations to present to customers.

Japan is filled with good places, and Chris hopes to give people the right ideas to help them create their own dream trip.


Founded in 1981, Japan Experience is one of the leading European travel company specialising exclusively in Japan. Their mission is to become the primary go-to brand for all Japan lovers by having three simple ideas at the heart of its strategy : flexibility of choice, people and simplicity.

FLEXIBILITY - Travellers are free to go wherever they want to. Book whatever they want to. Japan Experience is a tour operator that offers all possible ways to not only travel, but also offers the freedom for travellers to book as little or as much as they want to.

PEOPLE - They are human. And they inspire. For them, the very essence of travel is ‘discovery of the other’, of ‘elsewhere’ and the ‘finding’ of yourself. They add the human touch, either through their salespeople or their Travel Angels.

SIMPLICITY - They let travellers focus on what’s important. They take care of the rest. It begins with their website or offices accross Europe; the one-stop shop for travellers to Japan. Information, accommodation, transport, activities, excursions, complete tours and more. They take care of the rest.

What they are looking for

They are looking for candidates with expertise, a drive and tenacity to go beyond the norm, who can meet our high standards and expectations, bring insight and vision with a clear proven track record of progress and success in their career. They are looking for people who want to work in a truly international environment.

They value empathy, humbleness, humour, and professionalism, both in our daily work through interaction with their colleagues and clients alike.

Any personal Japan-related experience or interest is considered a bonus.

Good to know

You will evolve in an international environment.

With offices in Paris, London, Berlin, Madrid, Los Angeles, and of course, Tokyo, they actively promote and encourage internal mobility within the company on a global level. If you want to experience working in Japan for example, or move to another Sales office for a new challenge in a new role; they do our best to accommodate such requests. Some of our staff will also be offered the option to work remotely. They want their people to feel relaxed but energised about what they do.

The only way to get to know Japan better is to experience it. They want their colleagues to experience their product catalog, which is why they are now offering extensive training opportunities in Japan to their Sales staff, in order to increase their knowledge and expertise of the region. In addition to enjoying the opportunity to experience first hand Japan Experience's apartments or houses, along with free domestic travel by train and various local activities

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